Protect Your Music With a Music Licensing Agreement Today!

Standardized Legal Documents Protect Your Music With a Music Licensing Agreement Today!

Don’t Let Thieves Steal Your Art—Draft a Music Licensing Agreement

Have you recently started producing songs and are worried that someone might steal your work? Worry no more! DoNotPay can help you understand how music licensing agreements work, how to write a contract, and how to protect your work from infringement once you sign up!

What Is a Music Licensing Agreement?

Copyrights protect the intellectual property owner. The owner offers exclusive authorization to individuals or corporations to copy and reproduce their work in exchange for royalties. 

Music copyrights work in the same way. A music licensing agreement is a contract protecting the musician’s rights, ensuring all their works are copyrighted. The musician decides who can reproduce their work and earn money from it. 


The agreement is between the creator and a party wanting to use the artist’s work. If you want to use an original song in your ads, films, or TV shows, you will require a music licensing agreement. You will have to pay compensation to the creator through royalties. 

Types of Music Licenses

There are several music licensing methods presented in the table below:

Music Licensing 

Brief Explanation

Synchronization Refers to music combined with visual media and can be used in advertisements, personal films, studio films, and more
Mechanical
  • Manufacturing of CDs
  • Distributing music in a tangible form
Master The song owner holds the license and authorizes other parties to use a pre-recorded song in a visual/audio project
Public performance License to broadcast an artist’s work in concerts, stores, or jukeboxes
Print rights The physical copy of the music that a musician creates
Theatrical Used in theaters for performing on-stage

Music licenses can be exclusive and non-exclusive. With exclusive rights, you give authority to a single party to use a song however they like. With non-exclusive rights, you are not committed to a single party and have multiple options available.

Why Do You Need a Music Licensing Agreement?

You need a music licensing agreement in the following cases:

  • When you’re creating public content 
  • If you’re making music for streaming websites, films, commercials, radio, or print 
  • If you want to protect your work from getting stolen
  • When you want to cover someone else’s song publicly
  • When you want to use original songs in any way, be it lyrics, instruments, vocals, or theme 

Essential Clauses of a Music Licensing Agreement

Here are a few essential clauses to incorporate in your agreement:

  1. Copyright owners
  2. Permission of specific uses
  3. Exclusivity
  4. Duration of the arrangement
  5. Location
  6. Royalties
  7. Song augmentation
  8. Assignment

Copyright Owners

An artist usually has sole ownership over their songs, but there can be more than one copyright owner. This includes lyricists, composers, and labels. It is important to know who the owners are to get written permission for content use.

Permission of Specific Uses

A song can be licensed for single, multiple, and all-purpose uses. 

In the case of single use, the song is licensed for one purpose only. If a producer uses it in a movie, they cannot use the same song in an advertisement.

For multiple purposes, the artist gives multi-purpose rights. Their work can be used in ads, movies, or other visual projects.

All-purpose rights allow the producer to use the song however they want. The artist forgoes all rights to control the use of their piece of music.

Exclusivity

This clause decides how and where the song can be used. In some cases, artists create music exclusively for a movie that cannot be used elsewhere unless otherwise stated. 

Duration of the Arrangement

It is important to state the duration of the licensing arrangement. It can be fixed or vary depending on other factors.

Location

Some agreements are binding only in specific locations. For example, a song can only be used for an ad in the United States.

Royalties

The musician can keep royalty rights from profits earned by the licensing party for a specified time. 

Song Augmentation

In some cases, an artist can give rights to modify their song. While the essence remains the same, the producer can clip, remix, or extend the song. It is up to the artist to choose whether they want to maintain the integrity of the song or accommodate the licensor.

Assignment

This clause determines whether the licensor can sell the song to a third party. 

DoNotPay Can Create Legal Documents in an Instant

Are you procrastinating when the time comes to create legal documents because you’re unsure how to start and lawyers are out of the question (and your budget)? 

You can always search for contract templates online, but they require a lot of time and energy. Why look for other options when you can use DoNotPay to generate legal documents within minutes? Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Register for DoNotPay
  2. Select the document you need to create
  3. Type in your details and answer our chatbot’s questions
  4. Print your document and sign it

DoNotPay can generate various contracts and agreements, such as:

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